Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cooking for the Soul.

For quite some time now, I have been tripping on food and cooking, and cooking shows; I even try to imitate some of the interesting recipes at home. My wife and our friends say that I am not bad actually, and the food they have been invited to sample and taste, has been pleasing it seems. 

Masterchef Australia is my favorite of the cooking shows I watch, and the new season started today. 

One of the aspiring contestants does not eat pork for religious reasons, and the chefs were wondering if she would be able to prep this meat adequately when she can’t even taste before she serves. 

“I don't know how you are going to do it, you are going to have to cook blindly” said one of the chefs!
My answer would have been: Wasn’t Beethoven deaf and composing? 

Nothing should stand between talent and excellence. Inspiration should know no handicap or excuses. 

Cooking is my new (much needed) intellectual and artistic manifestation.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Like!

I tried to blog again.

I had forgotten the password to urban_memories, and I had to reset it. I never forget passwords!

I guess it has been that long…

This feels so awkward now.
There were years where this was almost easier than breathing. 
It took a lot of time to post about the death of a fallen great Architect, Oscar Niemeyer, as I kept editing fonts, sizes and paragraph adjustments. I had a system for posting, and now all is lost.

I published and kept staring at the screen aimlessly. 
I deleted moldy comments/ads, saved, updated and stared at the screen again. 

I remembered that I could visit other blogs and read what my friends had written, like I used to, only to find that my blog list needs a bit of dusting and updating.
I read… and a big smile draws on my face. I remembered that it was exactly this type of wit and cynicism that got me hooked on this blog and made me follow it.

I look for the “like” button to approve of the post, but could not find it!

On blogs, we had to actually write!

It really has been too long… 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Architect Oscar Niemeyer (1907 - 2012)

Modernist Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012) 
dies today in Rio at the age of 104...
Here is a collage in homage to some of his built work in Lebanon!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2010.

Happy Holidays to you my friends...
will be back shortly :)
z.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

blog help: music.

Can anyone give me hints on how to upload music to blogs?
I used to upload through odeo, but for some reason it is not working anymore.
How are you guys going on about it?

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Monday, November 30, 2009

L'autre bout du monde.


video

The first white coat covered Montreal today, revealing once again how hard it is for me to say goodbye to fall. Every year, and for as much as possible, I try to extend this magical season until it gets pulverized by the first snow... which was today.
Under an eerily darkened sky, naked and cringing trees are now getting ready to host ice and raven for the next few months to come.

I think my tolerance for long periods of snow is diminishing. A big smile used to appear on my face with every first snow... but not this year.
I just am not ready yet...
But here it comes again so hold on tight, it is going to be a bumpy and very moody ride.

(this is a short film I shot with wife while driving the "wine route" through the eastern townships of Quebec - Fall'08).
the film lost a lot in resolution when uploaded here... I wish I can share the actual video so you can appreciate the beautiful and bright colors along the way.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Real 1er Trio?

Two games in two days. The Montréal Canadians brought back 3 out of 4 possible points, winning one game beautifully over the best attack in the league, and losing the other in penalty shots after battling to the last minute and coming back up from 2-0 behind...

Thank you boys! You never stopped fighting for one minute; tired and broken with the quarter of the team injured you kept on going.

The crowd gave them a standing ovation after a brave loss tonight... what a game! I am proud of the boys. For the past few games, the tired and overplayed players are giving us honest hard-work on the ice-rink, and that's all what the partisans can really ask for.

- The combination that played with Plekanec tonight twas amazing and they should all graduate to the 1st trio - Plekanec was named "best player" two weeks in a row - Arrogant, aggressive and defying, Carey Price is finally back -

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

urban_renewal [rejuvenation of memories].

I am not to be too fond of change.
Although I may alter my mind at some point, there are some things I remain faithful to, no matter what. They are simple everyday life things really, but sometimes I just insist on sticking to initial choices.

I look for familiarity I think; some safe zones and patches of stability are essential in a transient lifestyle.

When I first started urban_memories [the unfinished polaroids] and signed on blogger in 2006, I really took my time picking from the available templates, since I don’t know how to upload a page of my own. I could work out all the graphics of course, but I wouldn’t know what to do with it afterwards. So despite many imperfections, I thought that the template I am using now, resembles me the most, and I went with it ever since.

Even after blogger presented users with new and improved pre-designed templates which you could easily customize to your liking, I still found faults and things that I did not like, and opted to remain with my “classic” template. I didn’t think the updates were worth the change.
Almost Four years later, and as written memories are piling up on the archive list, I am still hesitating and wondering whether I should be going to need some redesigning.
Even if this change could be settled by just adhering to the new template system and changing the header photograph, I am still finding myself fighting the urge for change.

Blog design and legibility are very important to me and maybe as important as the content sometimes. If I don’t like the look of the blog, or if I think that I see “bad graphics”, I tend to read less or even not at all. I would go read elsewhere.
A small change on urban_memories may destroy this blog/blogger familiarity, and make me lose some settings that I had placed and would have liked to keep...

I don’t know... What do you think?

Please look to the right (in the margin below my profile) and tell me your thoughts by placing your vote.
If I can’t make up my mind, maybe I should ask you ladies and gents to help out.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Finally, some recognition for Pleky!

photography: Nadim Sioufi, a.k.a. Senseï.
So of course the Hockey season started a few months ago, and despite a rough start for our very own Montréal Canadians, the Habs are starting to shape up beautifully, as they are snatching last minute wins from some very tough teams. Unlike last year’s Diva roster when everyone played for their own glory, this year and with the absence of superstars like Kovalev, Koivu, and Tanguay, the players who happen to be a bit less talented and less “expensive”, are all on the ice rink to play for the team and to try and win it for one another (and for us of course).

What’s also very different this season, is that finally and unlike previous years, my favorite player, who in my modest opinion is the most useful player on the team, is finally getting the credit he so deserves.
For the past two weeks, the extremely hard working Tomas Plekanec is being described and talked about as being the most important player on the team. They finally recognized his true worth and gave credit to his contributions on the team; the team that is truly the pride of the city of Montr
éal, and every Montréaler.
I hate it when shy players, and players who don’t bitch and nag on every interview, fall into oblivion, while only superstar players are hovered over by the media. However for the past two or three weeks, every hockey related article I’ve read and every hockey related TV debate I’ve watched, did not fail to mention that the #14 Czech player with the Montréal Canadians, has been the best player on the team so far, and that since he plays as a center on the 2nd trio, he has been left alone most of the time with no one to support him and finish his smart and wicked passes... And that’s something I have been saying and repeating for the past 3 years. The experts are very late, but you know what? Better late than never; I am happy.
“Tomas Plekanec, un hero obscur” said one paper:
… il n’est certainement pas le joueur le plus populaire, le plus en vue, ou le mieux payé chez le Canadien… il est cependant l’un des plus utiles…”
translation (mine): he is certainly not the most popular player, or the one with the most media exposure, nor is he the most paid, but he is certainly one of the most useful players for the Canadians.
Even the CH’s coach Jacques Martin mentioned him more than once in the past two weeks:
“He never complains even if he plays with different trio players every game. He is an extremely versatile player and a very important one to our team – a key player dotted with unbelievable skills to adapt to each and every situation. He is even able to make his teammates look good and score goals…”
I would also like to add that lately, Plekanec has been doing almost everything on this ice rink. He has been passing the puck, scoring goals, defending fiercely and even fighting his own battles, which, because of his small posture, is really not his job to begin with…
Kudos to you Pleky, I hope you finish the season marvelously and without injuries. Keep up the good work and I will keep rooting for you… (That’s me in the photo by the way).
Here’s a beautiful tube of an amazing play he did last week. He took the puck from behind the own net and skated through 4 big players, only to deliver a beautiful calculated assist to his teammate to score, and win the game in overtime… of course that night, the credit went to Hamrlik the goal scorer… even the title of the tube is evidence of that…

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Plastic Symbiosis

Some people may say while admiring the result of a Holga:

- But all you do is press on that button...
Then you wait while totally relying on the vulnerability of the plastic box to do the work for you, and deliver the “art” such as you would like to call it.
You're totally dependent.


- Symbiosis.
- Pardon?
- I think it is more a symbiotic relationship, rather than total dependence.
Sure the machine deserves a lot of credit for delivering the final representation, but you also have to be there, and you have to know what you’re doing.
You have to kind of imagine and anticipate the final outcome of the photograph, in order for it to be as close to perfection as you would like it to be. If you leave it to the camera, the result would be totally random... after all it is plastic.
In order to master it, you really have to foresee it. A lot of trial and error will train you to see and read the future photograph or the photograph to be, and then mentally relay the information to your system so that the camera can "capture" your desires. Because I mean in order for you to get a satisfactory result you have to be there; you have to really be there at the right moment and at the right time, at the right angle and at the right light… and then you click!
You have to pose yourself instantaneously all the right questions:
Do you hold or do you release quickly? Do you focus or do you move?
Do you crank and shoot, or do you go for a double exposure?
These are some of the questions you have to pose and answer yourself almost immediately. And then you can “rely” on the plastic lens to execute them while adding a bit of its mysterious quirkiness, and theatrical subjectivity.
Symbiosis is the art of interaction and partnership, which to me, better describes the relationship of photographers with their Holga.

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